I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn’t,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn’t a-been so cold
I might’ve sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn’t a-been so high
I might’ve jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I’m still here livin’,
I guess I will live on.
I could’ve died for love–
But for livin’ I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry–
I’ll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

Analysis, meaning and summary of Langston Hughes's poem Life Is Fine


  1. ralfhy says:

    life is fine, fine as wine..? is this guy an alchaholic or something? why even try to put in something like that. thanks now i have to write about you in school athough your poem is great.

  2. bob says:

    does anyone know the setting of this poem?

  3. Allison says:

    Does anyone else feel the ending (Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!) is kind of bittersweet or sarcastic? Even though in the previous lines he seems positive about life and getting over his lost love, to me the ending reminds me of people who just get so fed up with life that they just throw their hands up and laugh and go on to neglect themselves emotionally. I imagine the narrator of the poem having a haphazard lifestyle following the end of his tale here…

  4. lagnston.h.suck.ass says:

    so i have to write a 3-4 page essay on this retarted peom that means nothing!
    i mean, wtf???????? this poem is so ghetto! screw it, and screw everyone who likes it!

  5. Christina says:

    I think that this poem is wonderful. I had to pick a poem for my English class and this was the first one that stood out, I also wrote a paper on it…It just shows what life can mean to some people and even though you want to give it all up sometimes there are things worth living for.

  6. Chris says:

    I’m doing a research on this poem. But I couldn’t find when this poem was wrote. Could anyone help me ? Thanks a lot ! ^@^

  7. LaSalle says:

    I have to anaylize this poem Life is Fine and I just wanted to say that I really enjoy it and like it. I have to teach it to my class and I hope that they fully understand it! Thanks Langston Hughes for making a difference!

  8. evelyn samonte says:

    by this time am searching the american poem..when i read this poem,i really like the words content in this poem,so i choose it..and make it analyses for my brother assignment or homework…this poem indicates that even how many trials come in our life,we have to be strong and believe that there is a chance..so LIFE IS FINE…

  9. Asia Chapman says:

    This was the best Poem I have ever read.When I first read this poem it made me think of myself!

  10. Gentry Pitts says:

    this poem lets you know that you’ve gotta keep going in life and there will be road blocks but they weren’t ment to kill you but make you stronger and prepare you for life!

  11. Marilyn says:

    I think this is a beautiful poem, it gives an important message to the people.

  12. Kelsey says:

    I think this is a awsome poem because it lets you know that you shouldn’t kill your self over love.

  13. Amanda says:

    I think that the peom that you wrote was very good and that you probley put alote of thought into ”Life is Fine”. I am doing a leason on it in class for languge arts but doing yours make it alte of fun. I think your a greeat AUTHER KEEP IT UP .

    Sincerly Amnad

  14. fonzo22 says:

    i have to do a project on this song using windows movie maker. The feedback people have given rlly has halped me alot. I would like to thank everyone who posted comments and to langston hughes for making such a gr8 poem. LIFE IS FINE.

  15. motu says:

    this poem means that life is so precious that you shouldn’t give up so easly.Even if it is sometimes too unbearable to bear you must never give up too easily. You got to fight for what you will have only once that is your life…Life is fine

  16. Lorraine says:

    i understood it…it makes me open my eyes a little more.
    Thank you Langston Hughes

  17. Lorraine says:

    i understood it…it makes me open my eyes alittle more.
    thank you Langston Hughes!

  18. Emily says:

    This poem is about how he wanted to die right. Well its a very nice poem and makes perfect sence.

  19. Tiffany says:

    Wonderful Poem! It’s just too bad I’m not able to get a hold of Langston so he can tell me everything that he meant by it. It’s all our own interpretations now, which i’m sure are pretty close.

  20. Keith says:

    The poem provides a small sense of ambiguity in the italic words. Almost like he’s saying, even though he backed out, the situation was tense, and the feats required either courage or stupidity.
    This poem really can communicate with alot of people out there, considering the fact that suicide and depression are becoming more common.

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